An endorsement

We recently received some fantastic feedback on Digimap for Schools from Dr Neil Clifton, a retired chemistry teacher/lecturer in his eighties. When his grandson showed him the service, Neil was so impressed he sent us an endorsement. A lifelong mapping and geography enthusiast, whose son studied geography, Neil enjoys contributing photos to the Geograph project.

We particularly like Neil’s point about the maps helping young people to develop a love for their environment and wanted to share his considered thoughts with you:

 

Every child/pupil/student in every school in Britain should have access to this brilliant facility which has been developed by a team at Edinburgh University in co-operation with Ordnance Survey.

For little more than the cost of a set of text-books, the project allows access to the whole range of Ordnance Survey mapping, right up to the largest scale of 1:1250, (on which even garages, sheds and tiny streams are depicted, and where appropriate, named).

The team has put much thought into the project, which has made it easy to use, and attractive in appearance, so that even young children will enjoy exploring and using it, for locations such as their immediate home surroundings, as well as for locations that they have visited, or hope to visit, in more distant parts of Britain.

A beginner, in perhaps year 1 or 2 in their junior school, might look at a map showing their own school.  And as the child develops and matures, they will trace their own house and the route they follow to get to school.  Then, finding perhaps the location of the local supermarket, where the railway station is situated and so on, their confidence as map-users will increase all the time.  The pond or stream where they go fishing will be found – and perhaps the map will enable the discovery of other possible fishing sites nearby.

The benefits to those students taking geography examinations can hardly be overstressed.  But there are so many other ways in which the use of these maps will help the young person to acquire a love of the environment and a care for its well-being.   It is here that our future botanists, naturalists, photographers, walkers, cyclists, and leaders of the next generation of young people are born.

If any teacher is still unconvinced of the real and lasting value of making this resource available in their schools, I would urge them to look at the (free) trial which shows just a small area of the country.

Dr Neil Clifton, April 2017

 

 

 

Geograph images now available!

screenshot of Geograph images on a Digimap for Schools map

Geograph images as viewed in Digimap for Schools

You can now view images from the Geograph project in Digimap for Schools. Geograph aims to collect images for every grid square in Great Britain. So far more than 5 million images have been contributed.

Just click the Geograph icon on the toolbar to start searching and viewing images. Our search facility offers suggestions as you type to aid your explorations. A short help video is available on  YouTube, to help you get started.

Dr Paula Owens has authored some fantastic new learning resources to accompany the new Geograph feature.  They have lots of ideas to inspire you to use the images. Landscape Alphabet has some fun ideas on using the images in Key Stage 1 to support language development. There are three resources aimed at Key Stage 2; A focus on rivers, Flooding and Other Hazards, and Photographic! There’s also a Getting Started resource with lots of suggestions for searching.  All resources include ideas for linking in literacy and numeracy.

We hope you will find Geograph a useful tool and enjoy viewing the wonderful images that are available. Do send us your feedback and any examples of fun images you find!

Upcoming webinars

Hi folks, we have planned a series of webinars in April and May.

Webinars are free to attend. They are open to all schools subscribed to Digimap for Schools  and anyone interested in learning more about the service. To join a webinar, you must register to book your place.

To see more details on the webinar content and register, click the link after the webinar of interest to you.

Hope to see you there!

If you have any questions about attending a webinar, or would like to suggest topics for future webinars, please comment below or get in touch with the Digimap for Schools Helpdesk – digimap.schools@ed.ac.uk

Digimap for Schools and GCSE Geography

This week one of our users posted a tweet which gave a brief overview of the Edexcel Geography GCSE curriculum (Edexcel GCSE Geography Curriculum).  We immediately noted how valuable a resource Digimap for Schools could potentially be in this curriculum.  We noted that in particular, Component 2: “UK Geographical Issues” and Component 3: “People and the Environment Issues -Making Geographical Decisions” cited the use of OS maps at 1:25000 and 1:50000 numerous times.

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.35.59

We spent some time going through the full GCSE Edexcel Geography B specifications and noted the large number of topics and assessments where Digimap for Schools was applicable. Two areas in particular: Topic 4: “The UK’s evolving physical landscape” and Topic 6: “Geographical investigation” cited the use of Ordnance Survey maps several times in the ‘Integrated Skills” sections.    See below:

Screen Shot 2017-02-09 at 12.49.05

We also noted that this GCSE also required 2 fieldwork investigations, one for physical geography (coasts or rivers) and one for human geography (dynamic urban areas or changing rural areas).  We already provide some guidance on how Digimap for Schools can be used directly for fieldwork in two videos on our youtube channel: Fieldwork Webinar and Using FieldTrip GB with Digimap for Schools

We believe that Digimap for Schools is the perfect tool for providing this OS mapping, but also has the added functionality of providing GIS elements such as the ability to add point files which would cover some of the assessment criteria within this particular exam specification.

We believe Digimap for Schools is the perfect resource allowing pupils to access all the relevant OS maps required within the GCSE curriculum (we think it’s also the GB mapping used within the most exam papers), it also provides the tools to undertake all the assessment objectives in a simple, no fuss way.  We also believe it facilitates the GIS components of the curriculum (please someone tell us if it doesn’t, but we genuinely believe it does :-) ).

I did a quick look through some of the other examination boards and can report that it’s a similar story with the OS 1:25000 and 1:50000 maps being persistently cited for usage, so Digimap for Schools is applicable for these examination boards also.

Anyhow, I did a quick video which identifies the areas of the Edexcel specifications and some of the AQA specifications where I think we Digimap for Schools can help.

Click here to view the embedded video.

New Training Sessions!

We have four exciting new dates where the fabulous Darren Bailey, Ordnance Survey Schools Delivery Programme Manager, will deliver superb Digimap for Schools training sessions.  If the sessions are in your area, you really should attend, even if you’re not subscribed, come along and have a taster session or if you are subscribed and you feel you’re not making the most of what the service could offer, please come along too. Session dates are:

  • 5th December-  Blackburn

  • 6th December- Oldham

  • 7th December- Hull

To find out more and register to attend, please email darren.bailey@os.uk

Upcoming Ordnance Survey Training with Darren Bailey

We have four exciting new dates where the fabulous Darren Bailey, Ordnance Survey Schools Delivery Programme Manager, will deliver superb Digimap for Schools training sessions.  If the sessions are in your area, you really should attend, even if you’re not subscribed, come along and have a taster session or if you are subscribed and you feel you’re not making the most of what the service could offer, please come along too. Session dates are:

  • 1st November-  West Byfleet

  • 2nd November- Stockport

  • 3rd November- Sheffield

  • 4th November- Sheffield

  • 15th November- Wolverhampton

  • 21st November- Exeter

  • 28th November- London

To find out more and register to attend, please email darren.bailey@os.uk

Helping you deliver the national curriculum for geography – aerial photography

The top improvement requested for Digimap for Schools was the addition of Aerial photography so we were delighted to make this available earlier this term. Why do schools need this?

  • Key Stage 1 and 2 require pupils to interpret a range of sources of geographical information, including aerial photographs
  • Key Stage 1 specifically requires schools to ‘use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features’

In Digimap for Schools you can use the transparency slider to view the aerial imagery and the present day map together, helping to introduce pupils to the concept of maps and how they differ from photographs.

We have some step by step teaching resources that feature aerial photography:

All sorts of exciting things can be found in the photographs. If you spot anything unusual that you think pupils will particularly enjoy please do tweet it to us at @Digimap4Schools and we will compile a list of the best for a future blog post?

 

concorde

Concorde 216 – the last one to be built will move indoors into a new museum at Filton in 2017

Digimap for Schools Upcoming Webinars

Hi folks, we have come up with a schedule of webinars we intend to run before Christmas.  Users will be emailed in advance with details and joining instructions closer to the dates.

September 15th (Thursday) 16.15.16.45- Introduction to our new features (Aerial Imagery) –Link coming Monday 12th September
October 6th (Thursday) 16.15.16.45- Getting Started with Digimap for Schools
November 15th (Tuesday) 16.15.16.45- Customising Maps with Annotations
December 11th (Tuesday) 16.15.16.45- Getting Started with Digimap for Schools

Peter

Free Digimap for Schools training with Darren Bailey from Ordnance Survey

We have four exciting new dates where the fabulous Darren Bailey, Ordnance Survey Schools Delivery Programme Manager, will deliver superb Digimap for Schools training sessions.  If the sessions are in your area, you really should attend, even if you’re not subscribed, come along and have a taster session or if you are subscribed and you feel you’re not making the most of what the service could offer, please come along too. Session dates are:

  • 12th September – Brighton University
  • 20th September –  West Byfleet
  • 21 September –  Nottingham
  • 26 Spetember – Kensington

To find out more and register to attend, please email darren.bailey@os.uk

Aerial Imagery is now here!

During the summer we have been really busy implementing aerial imagery into Digimap for Schools.  This was at the top of the ‘wish list’ for our schools, and we are incredibly grateful to Getmapping for helping to facilitate this.

The aerial imagery is amazing and gives real context to the OS and Historical mapping already available in the service.  Users are also now able to overlay this imagery with the mapping already available in the service.    Below is an example of overlaying OS mapping with the Aerial Imagery.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.49.05

Along with the aerial imagery we have also added a new tool called the ‘Information Tool’, this was previously known as the ‘Grid Reference Tool’.  The Information tool now gives you the exact date the imagery was captured, this is really useful in helping people understand that this imagery is a patchwork of photographs taken at different times.  We have also provided a map key which simply gives the year the imagery was captured.

Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 11.55.23 Screen Shot 2016-09-07 at 10.58.53

We are absolutely delighted with the results, and are very proud of the quality of the imagery and the usability of use of these tools.  Please login and have a play about.

If you want a quick overview, have a look at our youtube video on the new features.

Click here to view the embedded video.